Nintendo announces Dec. 8 TVii launch for Japan, US and Europe next year

Wii U with TVii
Japanese Wii U owners will get first crack at TVii

Japanese Wii U buyers will be the first to enjoy Nintendo's new TVii multimedia service when the console finally arrives in the Land of the Rising Sun on Dec. 8.

Unfortunately, Nintendo's entertainment programming guide is still missing in action in America more than a week after launching on Nov. 18, and it appears the console maker will also miss a promised December target date.

SlashGear reported Tuesday that Wii U owners in the U.S. and Europe will have to wait until early 2013 to install TVii, a far longer delay than video streaming services from Netflix, Hulu Plus and others.

Nintendo TVii uses the Wii U GamePad to browse television programming as well as view synopsis and cast information pulled from Rovi's G-Guide.

One-time fee

While Japanese Wii U owners will get the full entertainment experience right out of the box, they'll actually have to pay for the privilege.

A report from Engadget on Tuesday noted that Nintendo will charge a modest one-time fee of ¥100 (US$1.22, UK£0.76, AUD$1.16) for Wii U owners to activate the IR remote functionality of their GamePad, which can be purchased from its eShop.

Nintendo has yet to offer an explanation for the odd fee, which Wii U owners in the U.S. and Europe don't have to pay - they'll only need patience for TVii's arrival on their GamePads next year.

Via SlashGear, Engadget